Diet Plans Low-Carb Diets Foods Print Eating Okra on a Low-Carb Diet Learn more about the nutritional value of okra By Laura Dolson Updated July 26, 2019 More in Diet Plans Low-Carb Diets Foods Popular Low-Carb Diets Cooking Tips/Products Dining Out Other Diets Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman Okra is a highly nutritious green vegetable which is the edible pod of the okra plant. You probably know it best for its soluble fiber, which creates what is sometimes described as a slimy goo. The gooeyness can be minimized by stir-frying at high heat or cooking in a soup or stew such as gumbo, where the fiber disperses and provides a thickening agent. If you cook okra with an acidic food, such as lemon juice, vinegar or even tomatoes, it helps to cut down on the slime factor. Interesting History Okra was originally brought to the Americas during the slave trade. It is said that the word okra in Swahili is "gumbo," which would explain the origins of that classic Louisiana dish. In some places, okra is still called gumbo. Okra is also sometimes referred to as "lady's fingers." Carbohydrate and Fiber Counts Along the full spectrum of vegetables, okra is not starchy and among the healthiest lower-carb vegetables you can eat. Okra Preparation Carbs, fiber and calorie counts 1/2 cup of fresh okra (raw or cooked) 2 grams of net carbs, 2 of grams fiber, 18 calories 1/2 cup of frozen okra, cooked 2 grams of net carbs, 3 grams of fiber, 26 calories 1/4 lb (4 oz.) of raw okra 4 grams of net carbs, 4 grams of fiber, 35 calories Glycemic Index The glycemic index of a food is an indicator of how much and how fast a food raises your blood sugar. As with most non-starchy vegetables, there is no scientific study of the glycemic index of okra. Glycemic Load The glycemic load of a food is related to the glycemic index but takes serving size into account. A glycemic load of one is the equivalent of eating 1 gram of glucose. Since there is very little information on the glycemic index of okra, the glycemic load has been estimated. Estimated Glycemic Load of Okra ½ cup of okra: 1¼ lb (4 oz.) of okra: 3 Health Benefits Okra is a good source of fiber, including soluble fiber, which can have many health benefits, including for colon health, blood sugar, and cardiovascular benefits. It is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese, a very good source of folate, as well as a good source of magnesium, potassium, vitamin B6, and thiamin. Selection and Storage For tender, tasty okra choose pods that are not too large—no more than 4 inches long, but preferably 2 to 3 inches, as the large ones are more likely to be over-mature and tough. Store the pods dry, loosely wrapped in a plastic bag. If they are moist they will mold quickly and then will become slimy. Do not wash them until you are ready to cook them. If you are not going to eat your okra within a few days, it is best to freeze it. Blanch it in boiling water for 3 to 4 minutes, immerse in an ice bath for 5 minutes, and then freeze in freezer bags, removing as much of the air as possible. Other Food Groups Some choices are wiser than others in terms of selecting low-carb food options. Leafy vegetables and nuts and seeds seem to have the lowest carbs and the highest nutritional benefits. Most fruits, grains and some legumes and milk and dairy products have higher carb counts, but their nutritional benefits might warrant incorporating them into your diet moderately. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Looking to start a low-carb diet, but not sure where to start? Sign up to get our free recipe book and enjoy delicious low-carb meals. Email Address Sign Up There was an error. Please try again. Thank you, , for signing up. What are your concerns? Other Inaccurate Hard to Understand Submit Article Sources Durazzo A, Lucarini M, Novellino E, Souto EB, Daliu P, Santini A. Abelmoschus esculentus (L.): Bioactive Components' Beneficial Properties-Focused on Antidiabetic Role-For Sustainable Health Applications. Molecules. 2018;24(1):38. doi:10.3390/molecules24010038 Jenkins DJ, Wong JM, Kendall CW, et al. Effect of a 6-month vegan low-carbohydrate ('Eco-Atkins') diet on cardiovascular risk factors and body weight in hyperlipidaemic adults: a randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open. 2014;4(2):e003505. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2013-003505 Additional Reading USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28. Leroux, MarcusFoster-Powell, Kaye, Holt, Susanna and Brand-Miller, Janette. "International table of glycemic index and glycemic load values: 2002." American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Vol. 76, No. 1, 5-56, (2002). Continue Reading Leeks Can Be Added to Your Diet for Health Benefits Water Chestnuts May Have More Carb Than You Think Can You Eat Bok Choy on a Low-Carb Diet? Can You Eat Radishes on a Low-Carb Diet? Find out How Much Celery Root Is OK on a Low Carb Diet Olives Are a Good Choice Nutritionally for Any Diet Eating Corn-Based Foods in a Low-Carb Diet Enjoy Limes for Bright Flavor and Few Carbs Best (and Worst) Vegetables for Low-Carb Diets Get Your Soluble Fiber the Low-Carb Way Why Potatoes Raise Your Blood Sugar More Than Actual Sugar How to Use Green Onions in Low-Carb Recipes Why Turnips Are a Top Choice for Healthy Eaters Low-Sugar Fruits to Eat on a Low-Carb Diet How Can You Use Tomatillos in a Low-Carb Diet? What's the Nutritional Value of Raisins?